While the company initially had high hopes for the Apple Watch, that product has fizzled. Apple owns top spot in the watch market, but demand for connected watches appears to be plunging globally.
Enter augmented reality.
The integration of software into the real world has been a dream of developers for decades, but technology has only recently begun to catch up with ambition. Cameras, 3D sensors, and processing power have all progressed to the point where the first major consumer-focused AR launch is likely coming very soon.
Apple may well have ambitions to dominate the AR landscape, just like it did in smartphones with the iPhone and tablets with the iPad. Even CEO Tim Cook has been hinting at the new platform recently. From Business Insider:
Apple CEO Tim Cook has talked about augmented reality essentially every time he’s been called on to make public remarks recently.
“This is something you know it’s coming,” Piper Jaffray managing director Gene Munster told Business Insider. “The only other times they’ve talked like this is before the iPhone came out, they started to indicate they could do something in the phone market. Before the Apple Watch came out they talked about wearables and the wrist being a better option.”
Cook has noted that many people around the world soon “will have AR experiences every day, almost like eating three meals a day.” AAPL also acquired 3D sensor maker Primesense back in 2013, in another sign the company has big plans for augmented reality.
While Cook notes AR may “take a while” to develop due to some big technological hurdles, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that his company is going to be a major player in the space sooner rather than later. And that might just be “the next big thing” that propels Apple’s sales higher once again.
Apple shares closed at $108.84 on Friday, down $0.99 (-0.90%). Year-to-date, AAPL has gained 3.4%, versus a 2.29% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.